Was the coalition doomed from the start?

On Friday, Fukushima Mizuho, the head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, refused to bow to the prime minister's decision to accept a modified version of the 2006 realignment agreement, forcing the prime minister to dismiss her from her position as minister responsible for consumer affairs.Not surprisingly, on Sunday the SDPJ decided that it …

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Can the DPJ legislate a new relationship with the bureaucracy?

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives began debate on the Hatoyama cabinet's bill revising the National Civil Service Law, the first of three cabinet bills intended to introduce political leadership to be considered in the Diet (the others being bills establishing the national strategy bureau and increasing the number of sub-cabinet political appointees).If passed, the …

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The strange death of the LDP

When the Hosokawa government — with Ozawa Ichiro, then secretary-general of one of the leading parties of the eight-party coalition backing the government — passed electoral reform in 1994, one of the arguments made then and ever since by Japanese politicians (and American political scientists) was that the new mixed single-member district/proportional representation electoral system …

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